Staff in hospitals, doctors surgeries and social care facilities will be encouraged to act more sustainably following the launch of a Sustainable Development Strategy.
This will include improving recycling facilities within the NHS.
Reducing carbon emissions, protecting natural resources, preparing communities for severe weather events and promoting healthy lifestyles and environments are key to the strategy.
Launched by NHS England, Public Health England and the Local Government Association, it is the first sustainability strategy to be produced for the whole health and care system.
NHS England chief executive Sit David Nicholson said: “We are extremely pleased that for the first time the health and care system is pulling together to address our major sustainability challenges such as climate change, pollution and adverse weather events.
“Staff must be supported and we will facilitate this by using technology and instigating working practices such as telephone follow up or video clinics where appropriate, more teleconferences instead of travel and the recycling of waste water and medical devices where possible.
“We can also use our collective buying power to ensure that medical devices and other products are developed in ways which are ethical and environmentally friendly.”
Staff in the NHS will be encouraged to adopt more sustainable approaches, while there will also be a commitment to improve recycling facilities and reduce energy use.